Steel Magnolia was established on 10th March 2021. The business name, Steel, was inspired by the love of making steel furniture and represents the husband and owner, Heindrich Mienie, and Magnolia, ‘the spiritual name’ given to wife and co-owner, Nolene Mienie. So, the love story of Steel Magnolia was born. It’s a place of serving. Serving small and medium enterprises, serving people and the community, serving coffee, and serving hope and breakthroughs.

Conquering my NeMEsis is now available at Steel Magnolia. We are based at 22 Van Wouw Street, Vanderbijlpark, SW5. Visit us for a coffee, to read this book or just to celebrate with a friend. You can also visit our Facebook Page.

“There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela

I am proud to be able to share with you that my book on self-leadership has launched and I am looking forward to now finally being able to share its content with you. It has taken me 10 dedicated months to summarise what I believe are stepping stones that, as it assisted me, should also assist you to achieve success in your self-leadership journey. My main aim with the book was to present these tools, techniques and methods towards successful self-leadership to you in an easy-read format, where I not only share with you my experiences but also that of many other people at is relates to each topic. I call my book a “non-fiction novel”.

Why did I write this book?

I don’t need to remind you that we are living in unprecedented challenging times, and I think most of us are searching for ‘hope’ that we need to survive in this very volatile chapter of our human existence, and beyond. I am of the firm belief that we don’t have to search far for this hope and for the answers that we need to face our challenges and persevere. Lou Holtz, the former famous American football player, coach and analyst said that it’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.

The purpose of me writing Conquering my NeMEsis is to remind all of us that hope and our ability to handle life’s knocks lie within each one of us. If we focus, day in and day out, on becoming more successful at self-leadership, then we’ll find that it’s much easier to better handle the loads that we have to carry in life. Not only to ensure that we don’t break under this load, but that we even thrive in times where we have to carry a heavier load. I wrote this book to enable you and me to become more successful at self-leadership.

What is Self-leadership?

Self-leadership is often referred to as Personal Leadership, which might be a term that you are more familiar with. In my book, I quote some definitions of this central theme, but here I would like to quote Bryant and Kazan (2013) in defining Self-leadership as the practice of intentionally influencing our thinking, feeling, and behaviours to achieve our objectives. I would like to add to this though, that I think self-leadership is also about unlocking and achieving our full potential, leaving a lasting legacy and laying the foundation to better lead others – just to name a few.

“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” – Confucius

Who should be reading this book and why?

“Anyone,” is the short answer. I would suggest, though, that any woman or man of 16 years of age or older should read this book. I have picked this ‘threshold’ starting age simply because that is when my self-leadership quest started. It is also typically the age when young men and women start to think about and analyse life. It does not matter how rich or how poor, how able or disabled, or how motivated or demotivated you are, there is within each of us a deep desire to become greater and to be more successful.

If you consistently implement the self-leadership principles, which I am sharing with you in my book, I have no doubt you will not only become a better self-leader but that you will be more successful in whatever occupies your time. My liberal use of quotes and stories from well-known and successful people across the world is a reminder that, to some extent, everyone battles with the same issues. We can also learn from their wisdom, which can assist us in overcoming our personal challenges.

Which areas do I cover in my book?

The following chapter topics are covered in my book as it relates to the success of our self-leadership journeys:

1.    Taking charge of your life

2.    Planning for success

3.    Personal goal setting

4.    Avoiding time-wasters and distractors

5.    Living a disciplined life

6.    Refusing to make excuses

7.    Getting through tough times

8.    Becoming more resilient

9.    Being in charge of your emotions

10. Living in the present moment

11. Improving self-confidence

12. Choosing to be positive

13. Stepping out of your comfort zones

14. Learning and living good habits

15. Controlling personal finances

16. Valuing personal brand equity

17. Cherishing relationships

18. Investing in time to reflect

19. Embracing that it is never too late

20. It is ultimately your choice

Why would you want to buy the book?

This book is a celebration of finally having conquered me. I am grateful to be free from the bondage of being the ‘lesser me’, and I am well on my way to becoming the ‘best me’. After a relentless pursuit over many years, I have finally figured out my life in terms of what works and what doesn’t work for me as a successful self-leader. However, I do not, for one second, profess that I have everything under control all of the time, but I do have it under control most of the time. I can confirm that the content of this book works and that it will make you a better version of yourself – if you consciously focus on it. It is my pleasure and privilege to share the content of this book with you, and I trust that it will assist you to become more successful at self-leadership.

A final note…

The content of this book summarises all of the things that helped me to conquer myself and to move from a point where I was my own worst enemy to where I am now: Satisfied, content and at peace with myself, my circumstances and my environment. May the stepping stones in this book help you to overcome the challenges in your life, especially in the volatile times in which we are living, and help you reach where you would like to be. Most of all, I hope that it makes a positive and lasting impact on your self-leadership journey, and I trust that the content will also assist you to live a life that you can look back on one day and smile with satisfaction and gratitude.

If you are not serious about your self-leadership journey, the great danger is that you might end up in a retirement home one day, deeply regretting that you have not done enough to have achieved your full potential or all the personal goals that you would like to have achieved over your lifetime. You and I cannot afford to place ourselves in such a situation where we have to compromise and settle for second-best. We have to do justice to ourselves and those around us by making the best of this one life that we have been blessed with.

“One day, or day one. You decide.” – Paolo Coelho


Where can you buy the book?

Visit Steel Magnolia in Vanderbijlpark to purchase my book. Alternatively, you can order it online below or purchase it from any leading outlet in paperback or electronic format.   

Written by:

Hekkie van der Westhuizen, PhD

Author Dr. Hekkie van der Westhuizen shares practical self-leadership tips, tools and interventions in the form of stepping stones that will assist you along the journey to becoming the best possible version of yourself.


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